Of all the locations to choose when planning your proposal to the person of your dreams, few can match the serene majesty of the Alps. The heady mix of crisp, fresh air, rugged mountain scenery and glistening snow makes the Alps the ideal place to pop the question. Wrapped up warm against the elements, the sparkling ring and glistening snow complimenting her beaming smile; what could be more perfect?
Of course, the prospect of proposing is nerve-wracking at the best of times. Down on one knee before the woman you love, your heart on your sleeve, it's no wonder gentlemen get so nervous about the whole thing. How you act and what you say over these few precious moments will be remembered for the rest of your lives together, and could even have a sway on the outcome, so planning and preparation are key.
The perfect places to propose
Deciding to pop the question in the Alps is just the tip of the iceberg! What resort to choose, where and when to drop to one knee and how to phrase the proposal all deserve a great deal of forethought.
Those traditional mountain towns so prevalent across the Alps are wonderfully romantic. Cobbled streets, romantic cafes and artisan shops combine to make these delightful resorts ideal for couples in love, and the church spires pointing upwards to the snow covered peaks are the perfect finishing touch. The French resort of La Rosiere with its spectacular sunsets, Courmayeur or Tarvisio in Italy with their fine restaurants and valley views, or perhaps Courchevel with its chic jewellery shops for choosing the ring, are the ideal locations for a romantic proposal to the lady in your life!
Choosing where to stay during your romantic visit to the slopes is also a big decision. One resort that stands head and shoulders above the rest for romantic luxury is Val d'Isere. With crackling fire and stunning views, staying in ski chalets at this location is incredibly romantic, and you may even opt for one with an outdoor hot tub for relaxing evenings of bubbles under the stars. If you want to celebrate your engagement in style, you can look at booking your own chalet at Val d’ IsÃ¨re.
Resort choice is also paramount, and it's far more fitting to choose a charming and pretty town over a purpose-built resort. Attractive, traditional mountain towns such as St Anton, Meribel, Morzine or Zermatt are far more suitable than tower-block tourist spots like Tignes, Avoriaz or la Plagne, for instance.
A gondola proposal
The time between her acceptance and the news of your engagement spreading is precious. Of course family and friends will be overjoyed to hear the fantastic news, but those moments when you and your fiancÃ© are the only two people in on the plan are yours to savour.
If you can time it so you have one to yourselves, a gondola journey up the mountainside could be ideal. You've got beautiful valley views to enjoy from the comfort of your bubble, and complete privacy for the entire ride!
A calming serenity settles on the slopes after the lifts close and all the skiers head home - it's the ideal time to enjoy the spectacular scenery in privacy. If you head into a mountaintop cafe or restaurant at the top of the home run for a drink about half an hour before the lifts shut, by the time you emerge the pistes will be pretty much empty.
Sitting in the snow watching the sun set over the Alpine peaks, arm in arm with the one you love, is a most romantic setting and the ideal place to ask for her hand in marriage. You could even carefully stow a bottle of champagne and two glasses in your backpack to toast your happiness before skiing home and enjoying the rest of the evening together.
If you fear the late afternoon cold might scupper your plans for a romantic proposal, why not wait for the darkness of night to descend? Strolling hand in hand through town under the starry canopy of the Alpine night sky is the epitome of mountain romance. You can head back to the chalet to snuggle up in front of the fire afterwards, and propose to her as it pops and crackles by your side. The flames from the hearth will really set off the diamond, too!
For the ultimate in Alpine romance, you could consider renting a White Pod for the duration of your stay in the Alps. Located at 1250 metres, above the village of Cerniers in the Valais region of Switzerland, White Pods are the latest word in Alpine eco-luxury and the perfect place for a proposal in the Alps.
You can ensconce yourselves away in the snowy mountain landscape for a long weekend of hiking, snow shoeing, pampering and even dog-sledding, and when each day's activities are over you can enjoy blissful privacy in your own eco-lodge for the night.
However and whenever you choose to get down on one knee and pop the question to the woman you love, choosing an Alpine setting is a wonderful way to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Rosie Percy writes about various topics including lifestyle and travel. Rosie currently lives in Brighton, where she enjoys cycling by the seaside with her friends.